Health Care Costs and Spending in Massachusetts

Report
HEALTH CARE COSTS AND SPENDING IN
MASSACHUSETTS
A Review of the Evidence
MARCH 2012
MARCH 2012
BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD OF MASSACHUSETTS FOUNDATION
March 2012
Health Care Costs and Spending in Massachusetts: A Review of the Evidence pulls together in one chart pack the
findings and analyses from numerous state and national research projects on health care costs and spending in
the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. There is a surfeit of data and reports on this topic, especially in the wake
of Chapter 305 of the Acts of 2008, which gave new authority and responsibilities to several Massachusetts state
agencies to collect health care data and report on their findings. This publication is an effort to synthesize this
expansive body of research into a simple, easy-to-use resource.
Charts in this report draw heavily on analyses conducted by the Massachusetts Division of Health Care Finance
and Policy, the Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General, the Office of the Actuary at the Centers for
Medicare and Medicaid Services, and the Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care. The research efforts undertaken by
these organizations form the analytical bedrock for informed and thoughtful policy discussions.
This report has been designed to support use of the charts in slide presentations, and we encourage readers to
do so. We plan to update this chart pack regularly with the latest results from ongoing research efforts as they
become available.
This publication was assembled by the Foundation in collaboration with Amitabh Chandra at the Harvard
Kennedy School of Government and Josephine Fisher at Amherst College. Numerous individuals including
Katherine Baicker, John Cai, Mike Caljouw, Jon Gruber, and Lois Johnson provided invaluable comments and
assistance.
Design Credit: Madolyn Allison
MARCH 2012
BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD OF MASSACHUSETTS FOUNDATION 1
TABLE OF CONTENTS
 SLIDE 3
 SLIDES 4-15
 SLIDES 16-23
 SLIDES 24-36
 SLIDES 37-48
 SLIDE 49
 SLIDE 50
MARCH 2012
Executive Summary
The Impact of Rising Health Care Costs in Massachusetts
Where Health Care Dollars Go
Drivers of Spending Growth
Variations in Spending
Conclusions
References and Resources
BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD OF MASSACHUSETTS FOUNDATION 2
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Massachusetts spends more per capita on health
care than any other state. From 2009 to 2020, health
spending is projected to double, outpacing both
inflation and growth in the overall economy. The
rapid rate of growth squeezes out other spending,
both for individual households and in the state
budget.
Massachusetts residents spend more than the U.S.
average on every category of health care services,
though they spend less than average on health care
administration. Spending on hospitals and nursing
homes comprises the majority of the difference
between Massachusetts and U.S. average spending.
Recent increases in total health spending are
dominated by disproportionate growth in physician
services and hospital outpatient services for the
private market. Growth in Medicare spending is
driven more by hospital inpatient services, nursing
home care, and prescription drugs.
Massachusetts demographic factors predict higher
overall use of services — the population is older,
richer, and better insured than average — but these
factors do not explain all the differences.
MARCH 2012
The structure of the state’s health care delivery
system, which includes many specialists and teaching
hospitals, also likely contributes to higher overall
spending. In recent years, however, increasing prices
have been the major driver of higher health
spending in the private market.
Across the state there are large variations in both
total spending and prices. Per person spending on
health care in some towns is up to 15% higher than
others, with richer towns generally spending more.
Likewise, some hospitals are paid up to 10 times
more than others for the same services.
High prices are likely due to the market power of
large physician and hospital groups; there is no
evidence that high prices are associated with higher
quality of service. Greater overall use of services,
likewise, is not associated with higher quality or
better health outcomes.
These variations in prices and spending that have no
apparent association with health care value suggests
that health care spending can be lowered while
maintaining or improving the overall quality of care.
BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD OF MASSACHUSETTS FOUNDATION 3
THE IMPACT OF RISING HEALTH
CARE COSTS IN MASSACHUSETTS
WHERE HEALTH CARE
DOLLARS GO
DRIVERS OF
SPENDING GROWTH
VARIATIONS
IN SPENDING
SECTION 1:
THE COST OF RISING COSTS
 Massachusetts spends the most per capita in the country on health care.
Even after taking into account that wages in the state are higher than
average and that Massachusetts attracts a large amount of health care
research funding, spending is still 15% above the national average.
 Massachusetts has long been a high health care spending state, and the
2006 health reform law did not significantly increase the rate of growth in
the state’s health insurance premiums.
 All payers — commercial insurers, Medicare, and Medicaid — have seen
significant growth in spending over the past 20 years.
 Health care spending is growing much faster than household incomes or
the economy, squeezing out spending on other areas — education,
housing, infrastructure — both for households and in the state budget.
MARCH 2012
BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD OF MASSACHUSETTS FOUNDATION 4
THE IMPACT OF RISING HEALTH
CARE COSTS IN MASSACHUSETTS
WHERE HEALTH CARE
DOLLARS GO
DRIVERS OF
SPENDING GROWTH
VARIATIONS
IN SPENDING
Massachusetts Spends More on Health Care than
Any Other State
PER CAPITA PERSONAL HEALTH CARE EXPENDITURES, 2009
$10,000
$9,000
$8,000
$7,000
NATIONAL AVERAGE
$6,000
$5,000
$4,000
$3,000
$2,000
$1,000
$0
UT AZ GA ID NV TX CO AR CA AL VA SC TN NC OK MS OR KY MI MT NM IN IL KS WA LA HI IA MO WY NE SD OH FL WI MNMD NJ VT WV PA ND NH RI NY DE ME CT AK MA
State
NOTE:
District of Columbia is not included.
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Health Expenditures by State of Residence, CMS, 2011.
SOURCE:
MARCH 2012
BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD OF MASSACHUSETTS FOUNDATION 5
THE IMPACT OF RISING HEALTH
CARE COSTS IN MASSACHUSETTS
WHERE HEALTH CARE
DOLLARS GO
DRIVERS OF
SPENDING GROWTH
VARIATIONS
IN SPENDING
Even After Adjusting for Higher Wages and Research Spending,
Massachusetts Per Capita Spending Is Still 15% Higher than the
National Average
PER CAPITA PERSONAL HEALTH SPENDING, 2004
$6,683
$6,430
$6,025
$5,283
$5,245
$5,243
DIFFERENCE:
DIFFERENCE:
DIFFERENCE:
27%
23%
15%
MA
US
Unadjusted
MA
US
Adjusted for research
and
investment income
MA
US
Adjusted for research
and
investment income
and local wages
Massachusetts’ higher
per capita health
spending is explained in
part by relatively high
wages and by the large
amount of research
funding and investment
income received by the
state’s hospital sector.
Even after adjusting for
those factors, however,
Massachusetts per capita
health spending is still
15% higher than the
national average.
Wallack, S.S. et. al. for Massachusetts Division of Health Care Finance and Policy, “Massachusetts Health Care Cost Trends, Part I:
The Massachusetts Health Care System in Context,” February 2010.
SOURCE:
MARCH 2012
BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD OF MASSACHUSETTS FOUNDATION 6
THE IMPACT OF RISING HEALTH
CARE COSTS IN MASSACHUSETTS
WHERE HEALTH CARE
DOLLARS GO
DRIVERS OF
SPENDING GROWTH
VARIATIONS
IN SPENDING
Total Health Spending Will Double from 2009 to 2020
ACTUAL AND PROJECTED MASSACHUSETTS TOTAL PERSONAL HEALTH CARE EXPENDITURES, 1991-2020
(BILLIONS OF DOLLARS)
ACTUAL
$123
PROJECTED
$116
$109
$103
$92
$68
$33
$30 $31
$27 $28
$25
$23 $24
$20 $21
$36
$39
$42
$45
$48
$52
$56 $58
$72
$77
$81
$97
$86
$61
1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Year
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Health Expenditures by State of Residence, CMS, 2011; Massachusetts Division of Health Care Finance and Policy, “Massachusetts Health Care Cost
Trends, Historical (1991-2004) and Projected (2004-2020),” November 2009.
SOURCES:
MARCH 2012
BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD OF MASSACHUSETTS FOUNDATION 7
THE IMPACT OF RISING HEALTH
CARE COSTS IN MASSACHUSETTS
WHERE HEALTH CARE
DOLLARS GO
DRIVERS OF
SPENDING GROWTH
VARIATIONS
IN SPENDING
Medicare and Medicaid Account for Nearly 40% of Massachusetts
Health Spending
TOTAL PERSONAL HEALTH EXPENDITURES BY PAYER IN MASSACHUSETTS, 2009
(MILLIONS OF DOLLARS)
Medicaid
$11,102
18%
Private/Other
$38,339
Medicare
$11,721
19%
SOURCE:
63%
In 2009, Medicare covered
just over 1 million residents in
Massachusetts. Medicaid,
which includes the Children’s
Health Insurance Program
(CHIP) and the enrollees in
Commonwealth Care, the
state’s subsidized insurance
program, covered 1.4 million
Massachusetts residents.
About half of Private/Other
spending is on private
insurance, and about one
quarter is out-of-pocket
spending. The remaining
Private/Other spending
comes from programs run by
the Department of Defense
and Department of Veterans
Affairs and other third-party
payers such as Workers
Compensation.
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Health Expenditures by State of Residence, CMS, 2011.
MARCH 2012
BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD OF MASSACHUSETTS FOUNDATION 8
THE IMPACT OF RISING HEALTH
CARE COSTS IN MASSACHUSETTS
WHERE HEALTH CARE
DOLLARS GO
DRIVERS OF
SPENDING GROWTH
VARIATIONS
IN SPENDING
All Payers in Massachusetts Have Experienced Significant
Spending Growth
TOTAL PERSONAL HEALTH EXPENDITURES BY PAYER IN MASSACHUSETTS, 1991-2009
(MILLIONS OF DOLLARS)
These numbers reflect
total increases in
spending, resulting from
both increasing
enrollment, especially in
Medicaid, and higher per
capita spending.
$45,000
PRIVATE/OTHER
MEDICARE
MEDICAID
$40,000
$35,000
$30,000
$25,000
$20,000
$15,000
$10,000
$5,000
$0
1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
Year
SOURCE:
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Health Expenditures by State of Residence, CMS, 2011.
MARCH 2012
BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD OF MASSACHUSETTS FOUNDATION 9
THE IMPACT OF RISING HEALTH
CARE COSTS IN MASSACHUSETTS
WHERE HEALTH CARE
DOLLARS GO
DRIVERS OF
SPENDING GROWTH
VARIATIONS
IN SPENDING
Total Growth Rates by Payer Have Been Similar
Since 1991
ANNUAL GROWTH INDEX BY PAYER IN MASSACHUSETTS, 1991-2009; BASE YEAR 1991
(ANNUAL GROWTH RATE)
Though private spending
accounts for the majority
of health care costs in
Massachusetts, all types
of payers had similar
growth rates from 1991
to 2009:
350
PRIVATE/OTHER
MEDICARE
MEDICAID
300
 Private/Other average
annual growth rate,
1991-2009: 6.2%
250
 Medicare average
annual growth rate,
1991-2009: 7.1%
200
 Medicaid average
annual growth rate,
1991-2009: 6.9%
150
100
1991
1992
1993
1994
1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
Year
SOURCE:
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Health Expenditures by State of Residence, CMS, 2011.
MARCH 2012
BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD OF MASSACHUSETTS FOUNDATION 10
THE IMPACT OF RISING HEALTH
CARE COSTS IN MASSACHUSETTS
WHERE HEALTH CARE
DOLLARS GO
DRIVERS OF
SPENDING GROWTH
VARIATIONS
IN SPENDING
Private Spending Grew Faster Per Capita than
Both Medicare and Medicaid
HEALTH CARE EXPENDITURES PER CAPITA BY PAYER IN MASSACHUSETTS, 1991-2009
The sharp drop in
Medicaid per capita
spending resulted in part
from the 2006 expansion
of Medicaid, in which
lower-cost and less sick
populations enrolled.
$12,000
PRIVATE/OTHER
MEDICARE
MEDICAID
$10,000
$8,000
$6,000
$4,000
$2,000
$0
1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
 Private/Other average
annual per capita
growth rate,
1991-2009: 6.6%
 Medicare average
annual per capita
growth rate,
1991-2009: 6.1%
 Medicaid average
annual per capita
growth rate,
1991-2009: 3.0%
Year
SOURCE:
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Health Expenditures by State of Residence, CMS, 2011.
MARCH 2012
BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD OF MASSACHUSETTS FOUNDATION 11
THE IMPACT OF RISING HEALTH
CARE COSTS IN MASSACHUSETTS
WHERE HEALTH CARE
DOLLARS GO
DRIVERS OF
SPENDING GROWTH
VARIATIONS
IN SPENDING
Massachusetts Health Reform Did Not Escalate the Trend in
Health Care Cost Growth
FAMILY HEALTH INSURANCE PREMIUMS IN MASSACHUSETTS AND THE U.S., 2000-2010
MA Average Annual
Growth Rate,
2007-2010: 4.5%
U.S. Average Annual
Growth Rate,
2007-2010: 5.1%
$14,723 $14,606
MA Average Annual
Growth Rate,
2000-2006: 9.0%
$13,788
U.S. Average Annual
Growth Rate,
2000-2006: 9.1%
$13,039
$12,290
$11,435
$13,871
$13,027
$12,298
$11,840
$11,381
$10,728
$10,559
$10,006
$9,867
$9,249
$8,779
$8,469
$8,176
$7,509
$7,341
$6,772
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
Massachusetts
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
Massachusetts health
insurance premiums
have long been higher
than the national
average. In the years
after Massachusetts
passed health care
reform legislation in
2006, however, private
premiums have actually
grown more slowly than
the national average.
2010
U.S.
NOTE: Data for 2007 is inferred from the average of 2006 and 2008, as data for this year is unavailable.
SOURCE:
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Medical Expenditure Panel Survey — Insurance Component.
MARCH 2012
BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD OF MASSACHUSETTS FOUNDATION 12
THE IMPACT OF RISING HEALTH
CARE COSTS IN MASSACHUSETTS
WHERE HEALTH CARE
DOLLARS GO
DRIVERS OF
SPENDING GROWTH
VARIATIONS
IN SPENDING
With Wages Stagnant, Increasing Health Care Costs Consume a
Greater Portion of Household Budgets
MASSACHUSETTS PER CAPITA PERSONAL HEALTH EXPENDITURES AND MEDIAN INCOME, 1999-2009
MA PER CAPITA PERSONAL HEALTH CARE EXPENDITURES
MA MEDIAN HOUSEHOLD INCOME
$10,000
$9,000
$8,000
$7,000
$7,386
$6,366
$6,519
$7,771
$8,067
$8,305
$8,654
$9,010
$9,039
$9,431
$90,000
$80,000
$6,884
$70,000
$6,000
$60,000
$56,017
$5,000
$52,253
$4,000
$100,000
$44,005
$46,753
$49,855
$50,955
$52,019
$55,330
$58,463
$60,320
$59,375
$50,000
$40,000
$3,000
$30,000
$2,000
$20,000
$1,000
$10,000
$0
$0
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
Year
NOTE:
Health care expenditures are inflation-adjusted with 2005 as the base year; median household income is adjusted with 2010 as the base year.
Data for health care expenditures from CMS, Health Expenditures by State of Residence, 1991-2009. Data for median income from U.S. Census Bureau, State Median Income.
SOURCES:
MARCH 2012
BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD OF MASSACHUSETTS FOUNDATION 13
THE IMPACT OF RISING HEALTH
CARE COSTS IN MASSACHUSETTS
WHERE HEALTH CARE
DOLLARS GO
DRIVERS OF
SPENDING GROWTH
VARIATIONS
IN SPENDING
Employers Are Shifting More of the Cost of
Premiums onto Employees
PERCENT CONTRIBUTION TO INDIVIDUAL AND FAMILY HEALTH INSURANCE PREMIUMS BY MASSACHUSETTS EMPLOYERS, 2001-2010
INDIVIDUAL PREMIUM
FAMILY PREMIUM
82%
75%
78%
75%
77%
75%
75%
75%
75%
72%
68%
2001
NOTE:
2003
2005
2007
2009
70%
2010
Data reflect medians.
Massachusetts Division of Health Care Finance and Policy, Employer Survey.
SOURCE:
MARCH 2012
BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD OF MASSACHUSETTS FOUNDATION 14
THE IMPACT OF RISING HEALTH
CARE COSTS IN MASSACHUSETTS
WHERE HEALTH CARE
DOLLARS GO
DRIVERS OF
SPENDING GROWTH
VARIATIONS
IN SPENDING
The Increasing Costs of Health Care Squeeze Out
Other Public Spending Priorities
MASSACHUSETTS STATE BUDGET, FY2001 VS. FY2011
STATE SPENDING (BILLIONS OF DOLLARS)
FY2001
FY2011
$16
$14
+$5.1 B
(+59%)
-$4.0 B
(-20%)
$12
$10
-15%
$8
$6
-13%
$4
-11%
-23%
-38%
$2
-50%
-33%
$0
Health Care Coverage
(State Employees/GIC;
Medicaid/Health Reform)
SOURCE:
Public
Health
Mental
Health
Education
Infrastructure/
Housing
Human
Services
Local
Aid
Public
Safety
Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center Budget Browser.
MARCH 2012
BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD OF MASSACHUSETTS FOUNDATION 15
THE IMPACT OF RISING HEALTH
CARE COSTS IN MASSACHUSETTS
WHERE HEALTH CARE
DOLLARS GO
DRIVERS OF
SPENDING GROWTH
VARIATIONS
IN SPENDING
SECTION 2:
WHERE THE HEALTH CARE DOLLARS GO — SPENDING
AND COST GROWTH BY TYPES OF HEALTH CARE SERVICES
 Per capita spending in Massachusetts is higher than the national average in every major
category of health care services, including physician and hospital services, prescription
drugs, and nursing homes. The biggest gaps between the U.S. average and
Massachusetts occur in spending on hospitals and nursing homes.
 Per capita private spending is spread evenly across hospital inpatient, outpatient, and
physician care. Per capita Medicare spending is much higher overall, and a larger
proportion goes to inpatient care and nursing homes.
 Recent increases in private spending on health care have been disproportionately driven
by outpatient care and physician services. Medicare spending growth is dominated by
inpatient care, nursing homes, and prescription drugs.
 About 11% of private spending on health care in Massachusetts goes to insurer
administrative costs, well below the national average.
 Only about 2.4% of all health spending is attributable to medical malpractice costs.
MARCH 2012
BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD OF MASSACHUSETTS FOUNDATION 16
THE IMPACT OF RISING HEALTH
CARE COSTS IN MASSACHUSETTS
WHERE HEALTH CARE
DOLLARS GO
DRIVERS OF
SPENDING GROWTH
VARIATIONS
IN SPENDING
The Distribution of Total Spending by Type of Service Is Similar for
Massachusetts and the U.S. as a Whole
MASSACHUSETTS PER CAPITA SPENDING BY SERVICE, 2009
UNITED STATES PER CAPITA SPENDING BY SERVICE, 2009
1%
2%
8%
8%
16%
20%
38%
36%
14%
11%
22%
Hospital Care
SOURCE: Centers for Medicare
MARCH 2012
Physician and
Clinical
Services
24%
Drugs and
Other
Medical
Nondurables
Nursing Home,
Home Health,
and Other
Personal Care
Dental and
Other
Professional
Services
Medical
Durables
& Medicaid Services, Health Expenditures by State of Residence, CMS, 2011.
BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD OF MASSACHUSETTS FOUNDATION 17
THE IMPACT OF RISING HEALTH
CARE COSTS IN MASSACHUSETTS
WHERE HEALTH CARE
DOLLARS GO
DRIVERS OF
SPENDING GROWTH
VARIATIONS
IN SPENDING
Per Person Spending in Massachusetts Is Higher than the National
Average in Every Category of Service
UNITED STATES AND MASSACHUSETTS PER CAPITA SPENDING BY SERVICE, 2009
UNITED STATES
MASSACHUSETTS
$3,505
$2,475
$2,078
$1,840
$1,650
$956
$1,069
$1,033
$551
$703
$114
Hospital Care
SOURCE:
Physician and
Clinical Services
Drugs and
Other Medical
Nondurables
Nursing Home,
Home Health, and
Other Personal Care
Dental and Other
Professional
Services
$119
Medical
Durables
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Health Expenditures by State of Residence, CMS, 2011.
MARCH 2012
BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD OF MASSACHUSETTS FOUNDATION 18
THE IMPACT OF RISING HEALTH
CARE COSTS IN MASSACHUSETTS
WHERE HEALTH CARE
DOLLARS GO
DRIVERS OF
SPENDING GROWTH
VARIATIONS
IN SPENDING
Spending on Hospitals and Nursing Homes Makes Up the Majority
of the Difference Between Massachusetts and the U.S.
CONTRIBUTION TO DIFFERENCE IN MA AND U.S. SPENDING BY SERVICE, 2009
Dental and Other
Professional
Services
($152)
Medical
Durables
($5)
0.2%
6.2%
Nursing Home,
Home Health,
and Other
Personal Care
($771)
31.3%
41.8%
3.1%
Drugs
and Other
Medical
Nondurables
($77)
SOURCE: Centers for Medicare
MARCH 2012
17.4%
Physician and
Clinical
Services
($428)
Hospital Care
($1,030)
In total, per person
spending in
Massachusetts is $2,463
more than the national
average. Higher spending
on hospitals and nursing
homes accounts for 73%
of this difference. These
two categories of
spending are among the
largest for both MA and
the U.S., and would
therefore be expected to
account for much of the
difference. All the same,
they have a
disproportionate impact
on the gap between the
U.S. and MA.
& Medicaid Services, Health Expenditures by State of Residence, CMS, 2011.
BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD OF MASSACHUSETTS FOUNDATION 19
THE IMPACT OF RISING HEALTH
CARE COSTS IN MASSACHUSETTS
WHERE HEALTH CARE
DOLLARS GO
DRIVERS OF
SPENDING GROWTH
VARIATIONS
IN SPENDING
Hospital Outpatient and Physician Services Were the Biggest
Drivers of Spending Growth for Residents with Private Coverage
MA DISTRIBUTION OF PRIVATELY INSURED SPENDING
BY TYPE OF SERVICE ($ PER CAPITA), 2009
MA DISTRIBUTION OF GROWTH IN PRIVATELY INSURED
SPENDING PER CAPITA BY TYPE OF SERVICE, 2007-2009
10%
($471)
5.3%
4.3%
18%
($890)
All Other
Prescription
Drugs
40.8%
32%
($1,576)
24%
($1,172)
16%
($776)
SOURCE: Massachusetts
June 2011.
MARCH 2012
Physician and Other
Professional Services
Hospital
Outpatient
Hospital
Inpatient
33.2%
16.3%
Division of Health Care Finance and Policy, “Massachusetts Health Care Cost Trends: Trends in Health Expenditures,”
On average, per person
health care spending for
Massachusetts residents
with private coverage
was $4,885 in 2009.
Hospital outpatient
services consumed about
a quarter of that
spending but accounted
for more than one-third
of the growth in costs
from 2007 to 2009.
Physician services
consumed about onethird of total spending
but were responsible for
40% of the growth in
costs. Prescription drugs,
however, accounted for
less than expected of the
overall growth in
spending.
BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD OF MASSACHUSETTS FOUNDATION 20
THE IMPACT OF RISING HEALTH
CARE COSTS IN MASSACHUSETTS
WHERE HEALTH CARE
DOLLARS GO
DRIVERS OF
SPENDING GROWTH
VARIATIONS
IN SPENDING
The Growth in Spending for Different Categories of Services Was
More Proportional for Medicare Beneficiaries
MA DISTRIBUTION OF MEDICARE FFS SPENDING
BY TYPE OF SERVICE ($PER CAPITA), 2008
10%
($1,232.8)
$3,648
(28.4%)
32%
($4,031.9)
$1,172
(9.0%)
$2,464
23%
(18.7%)
($2,961.6)
$144 (1.0%)
$1,569
16%
(11.9%)
($2,013.8)
19%
$3,998
($2,421.9)
(31.0%)
SOURCE: Massachusetts
MA DISTRIBUTION OF GROWTH IN MEDICARE FFS
PER CAPITA SPENDING BY TYPE OF SERVICE, 2007- 2008
Long-Term Care and All Other
Prescription Drugs
Physician and Other
Professional Services
27.5%
14.6%
7.6%
2.9%
Free-Standing Facilities
Hospital Outpatient
Hospital Inpatient
15.6%
31.7%
Division of Health Care Finance and Policy, “Massachusetts Health Care Cost Trends: Trends in Health Expenditures,”
At $12,995, spending per
Medicare beneficiary is
more than twice the level
for the privately insured
(previous slide). Much of
the difference is for
spending on long-term
care; most services
contribute an expected
level to the growth in
total spending, though
drug spending
contributes
proportionally more and
physician services
contributes slightly less
than expected.
June 2011.
MARCH 2012
BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD OF MASSACHUSETTS FOUNDATION 21
THE IMPACT OF RISING HEALTH
CARE COSTS IN MASSACHUSETTS
WHERE HEALTH CARE
DOLLARS GO
DRIVERS OF
SPENDING GROWTH
VARIATIONS
IN SPENDING
Administrative Spending Is Low in Massachusetts
and Has Been a Small Contributor Toward Growth
MASSACHUSETTS
TYPE OF SPENDING AS A PERCENT OF PREMIUM, 2008
11%
PREMIUM GROWTH IN MASSACHUSETTS
BY CONTRIBUTION, 2006-2008
Non-Medical
5%
Medical
95%
11%
89%
89%
Though it’s difficult to
compare different
measures of
administrative spending,
non-medical spending in
Massachusetts is lower
than the national average
both as a percent of
premiums (11% in MA vs.
16% nationally) and in
real dollar terms. Nonmedical expenses grew at
the same rate as or faster
than overall premiums
from 2002 to 2006, but
they were responsible
for only 5% of total
premium increases from
2006 to 2008.
SOURCE: Massachusetts
Division of Health Care Finance and Policy, “Massachusetts Health Care Cost Trends, Part II: Private Health Insurance
Premium Trends, 2006-2008” February 2010.
MARCH 2012
BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD OF MASSACHUSETTS FOUNDATION 22
THE IMPACT OF RISING HEALTH
CARE COSTS IN MASSACHUSETTS
WHERE HEALTH CARE
DOLLARS GO
DRIVERS OF
SPENDING GROWTH
VARIATIONS
IN SPENDING
Medical Malpractice Costs Account for Only a
Small Portion of Total Health Spending
TOTAL MASSACHUSETTS HEALTH CARE SPENDING, 2009
(BILLIONS OF DOLLARS)
Payouts and
Defense Costs
$0.31
0.5%
1.9%
All Other Health
Care Spending
$59.69
Defensive Medicine
$1.16
97.6%
Mello, M., et. al., “National Costs of the Medical Liability System,” Health Affairs, 2010; Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs &
Business Regulation, “Medical Malpractice Insurance In The Massachusetts Market Report,” December 2008; Baicker, K., et al., “Malpractice
Liability Costs and the Practice of Medicine in the Medicare Program,” Health Affairs, 2007; 2009 total personal health expenditures from Centers
for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Health Expenditures by State of Residence, CMS, 2011.
SOURCES:
MARCH 2012
The best available evidence
suggests that the medical
malpractice system in the U.S.
is responsible for 2.4% of total
health spending. This includes
0.5% of total spending for
lawsuit payouts and defense
costs — direct expenses — and
1.9% of spending attributed to
“defensive medicine” — health
care services providers deliver
in order to reduce the threat
of lawsuits. Applied to
Massachusetts total spending,
that would be $1.47 billion in
2009. Average malpractice
payouts are higher in
Massachusetts than they are
nationally, which may increase
the total spent on direct costs.
However, economists find little
evidence that higher payouts
lead to increased practice of
defensive medicine.
BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD OF MASSACHUSETTS FOUNDATION 23
THE IMPACT OF RISING HEALTH
CARE COSTS IN MASSACHUSETTS
WHERE HEALTH CARE
DOLLARS GO
DRIVERS OF
SPENDING GROWTH
VARIATIONS
IN SPENDING
SECTION 3:
DRIVERS OF COST GROWTH IN MASSACHUSETTS
The state’s high and growing spending is attributable to four factors:
1. Utilization. Health care spending rises when a population uses more services overall.
For example, if the average number of physician visits increased in Massachusetts, then
total health spending would rise. Massachusetts has several demographic
characteristics, such as an older average age, that generally increase the amount of
health care a population uses. These characteristics do not, however, explain all the
differences between Massachusetts and the U.S. as a whole.
2. Provider mix. Health spending can also increase when a population begins to make
disproportionate use of the services of higher-priced providers. For example, if in place
of primary care providers, Massachusetts residents began to see specialists, who tend
to charge more even for the same services, overall spending would increase.
3. Service mix. Health care spending can rise if a population starts to receive more
expensive services in place of cheaper ones. For example, if many residents started to
receive MRI or CT scans instead of lower-priced X-rays, spending would increase.
4. Price. Health care spending can also rise if the price of each service increases.
MARCH 2012
BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD OF MASSACHUSETTS FOUNDATION 24
THE IMPACT OF RISING HEALTH
CARE COSTS IN MASSACHUSETTS
WHERE HEALTH CARE
DOLLARS GO
DRIVERS OF
SPENDING GROWTH
VARIATIONS
IN SPENDING
UTILIZATION: Massachusetts Residents Are Admitted
to the Hospital Slightly More than U.S. Residents Overall
HOSPITAL ADMISSIONS PER CAPITA IN MASSACHUSETTS AND IN THE U.S. OVERALL, 2009
(ADMISSIONS PER 1,000 RESIDENTS)
124
DIFFERENCE:
6.9%
Massachusetts
Massachusetts is slightly
above the national
average in hospital
admissions per capita —
though the state’s
residents stay in the
hospital for fewer days
than average.
116
U.S.
Kaiser State Health Facts, with data from the American Hospital Association Annual Survey and U.S. Census.
Wallack, S.S., et al. “The Massachusetts Health Care System in Context: Costs, Structure, and Methods Used by Private Insurers to Pay Providers,”
Massachusetts Division of Health Care Finance and Policy, February 2010.
SOURCES:
MARCH 2012
However, these data
include all hospital visits,
including those for
patients from other
states and countries. The
real utilization rate for
Massachusetts residents
is likely 2-5% lower.
BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD OF MASSACHUSETTS FOUNDATION 25
THE IMPACT OF RISING HEALTH
CARE COSTS IN MASSACHUSETTS
WHERE HEALTH CARE
DOLLARS GO
DRIVERS OF
SPENDING GROWTH
VARIATIONS
IN SPENDING
UTILIZATION: Adjusting for Age, Sex, and Race, Medicare
Beneficiaries in the Last Two Years of Life Are Slightly Below
Average for Use of Inpatient Hospital Care
HOSPITAL CARE INDEX FOR BENEFICIARIES IN THE LAST TWO YEARS OF LIFE, BY STATE, 2003-2007
1.8
1.6
1.4
1.2
1.0
National Average
0.8
0.6
0.4
0.2
0.0
UT ID OR WA VT WY MT ND NM AK ME MN CO WI IA NH SD NE IN NC KS AZ GA OK VA MO OH RI CT AL AR SC MA KY MI TN WV MD MS TX HI IL PA CA DE LA FL NV DC NY NJ
State
The Hospital Care Intensity Index is computed by comparing each hospital’s utilization rate, which is based on the number of days patients spend in the hospital and the number of times they
visit a physician, with the national average and adjusting for age, sex, race, and severity of illness.
SOURCE: Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care.
NOTE:
MARCH 2012
BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD OF MASSACHUSETTS FOUNDATION 26
THE IMPACT OF RISING HEALTH
CARE COSTS IN MASSACHUSETTS
WHERE HEALTH CARE
DOLLARS GO
DRIVERS OF
SPENDING GROWTH
VARIATIONS
IN SPENDING
UTILIZATION: The Rate of Hospital Outpatient Visits in
Massachusetts Is Significantly Higher than the National Average
HOSPITAL OUTPATIENT VISITS PER CAPITA IN MASSACHUSETTS AND THE U.S. OVERALL, 2009
(VISITS PER 1,000 RESIDENTS)
3,239
DIFFERENCE:
54.9%
2,091
Massachusetts
SOURCE:
U.S.
Though residents of
Massachusetts are about
on par with those of
other states for inpatient
hospital use, they use
nearly 60% more
outpatient services.
This data includes all
hospital visits, including
those by patients from
out of state. The
utilization rate for
Massachusetts residents,
therefore, may be slightly
lower.
Kaiser State Health Facts, with data from the American Hospital Association Annual Survey and the U.S. Census.
MARCH 2012
BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD OF MASSACHUSETTS FOUNDATION 27
THE IMPACT OF RISING HEALTH
CARE COSTS IN MASSACHUSETTS
WHERE HEALTH CARE
DOLLARS GO
DRIVERS OF
SPENDING GROWTH
VARIATIONS
IN SPENDING
UTILIZATION: Some of the Differences in Utilization Are Due to
Demographic Characteristics and Insurance Coverage, but These
Factors Don’t Explain Everything
 On average, Massachusetts residents are both older and richer than the
U.S. population as a whole — characteristics that are associated with
higher rates of health care utilization.
– Massachusetts is the 9th oldest and 6th richest U.S. state.
 Massachusetts has a high rate of insurance coverage with relatively low
out-of-pocket costs, which also induces a higher rate of overall spending.
– 98.1% of individuals in Massachusetts have insurance, compared with just
83.7% nationwide.
– At $793 in 2010, Massachusetts has the 5th lowest average deductible for an
individual health insurance plan.
 Research demonstrates, however, that these factors do not account for all
of the differences in health care spending across the U.S.
U.S. Census; Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Medical Expenditure Panel Survey — Insurance Component, 2010;
Zuckerman, S., et al., “Clarifying Sources of Geographic Differences in Medicare Spending,” New England Journal of Medicine, 2010.
SOURCES:
MARCH 2012
BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD OF MASSACHUSETTS FOUNDATION 28
THE IMPACT OF RISING HEALTH
CARE COSTS IN MASSACHUSETTS
WHERE HEALTH CARE
DOLLARS GO
DRIVERS OF
SPENDING GROWTH
VARIATIONS
IN SPENDING
PROVIDER AND SERVICE MIX:
Academic Medical Centers and Specialists
 Massachusetts residents get more of their care at academic medical
centers than people elsewhere in the U.S. do. The state also has more
specialists per capita than anywhere else in the country.
 This can influence total spending in various ways:
– Specialists tend to be more expensive, even when they provide the same
services. Thus the provider mix in Massachusetts lends itself to higher prices
per service.
– Academic medical centers and specialists may provide higher intensity care.
For example, a specialist may order an MRI or CT instead of an X-ray. Thus the
service mix may be important to understand the high costs in Massachusetts.
MARCH 2012
BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD OF MASSACHUSETTS FOUNDATION 29
THE IMPACT OF RISING HEALTH
CARE COSTS IN MASSACHUSETTS
WHERE HEALTH CARE
DOLLARS GO
DRIVERS OF
SPENDING GROWTH
VARIATIONS
IN SPENDING
PROVIDER AND SERVICE MIX: Massachusetts Residents Rely More
on Academic Medical Centers than Do Residents of Other States
PERCENT OF LICENSED HOSPITAL BEDS LOCATED IN ACADEMIC MEDICAL CENTERS, 2006
Nearly half of all hospital
beds in Massachusetts
are located at academic
medical centers. The
proportion of
Massachusetts hospital
admissions by academic
medical centers increased
from 35% to 45% from
1993 to 2008, while the
national rate of increase
was 19%.
46%
19%
Massachusetts
U.S.
Wallack, S.S., et. al. for Massachusetts Division of Health Care Finance and Policy, “Massachusetts Health Care Cost Trends, Part I:
The Massachusetts Health Care System in Context,” February 2010.
SOURCE:
MARCH 2012
BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD OF MASSACHUSETTS FOUNDATION 30
THE IMPACT OF RISING HEALTH
CARE COSTS IN MASSACHUSETTS
WHERE HEALTH CARE
DOLLARS GO
DRIVERS OF
SPENDING GROWTH
VARIATIONS
IN SPENDING
PROVIDER AND SERVICE MIX: Academic Medical Centers
Provide a Higher Intensity Set of Services than Community
Hospitals
INTENSITY OF CARE IN LAST SIX MONTHS OF LIFE AT U.S. HOSPITALS
ACADEMIC MEDICAL CENTERS
OTHER HOSPITALS
15.5
14.2
12.8
12.2
3.4
Inpatient Days
per Decedent
NOTE:
2.5
ICU Days
per Decedent
Among Medicare patients
in the last six months of
life, those whose main
site of care was an
academic medical center
received much more
care: more days in the
hospital as a whole, more
days in the intensive care
unit, and more specialist
visits.
Specialist Visits
per Decedent
Data for the last six months of life pertains to 2003-2007.
Health Care.
SOURCE: Dartmouth Atlas of
MARCH 2012
BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD OF MASSACHUSETTS FOUNDATION 31
1.4
ATHOL MEMORIAL HOSPITAL
HUBBARD REGIONAL HOSPITAL
CAMBRIDGE HEALTH ALLIANCE
MILTON HOSPITAL
HEYWOOD HOSPITAL
ANNA JAQUES HOSPITAL
QUINCY MEDICAL CENTER
HOLYOKE MEDICAL CENTER
SAINTS MEDICAL CENTER
MERCY MEDICAL CENTER
UMASS – HEALTH ALLIANCE
BOSTON MEDICAL CENTER
LOWELL GENERAL HOSPITAL
BID – NEEDHAM/GLOVER
MORTON HOSPITAL AND MEDICAL CENTER
NOBLE HOSPITAL
VANGUARD SAINT VINCENT HOSPITAL
LAWRENCE GENERAL HOSPITAL
VANGUARD – METROWEST MEDICAL CENTER
CARITAS HOLY FAMILY HOSPITAL
SIGNATURE HC – BROCKTON HOSPITAL
ESSENT – MERRIMACK VALLEY
MASSACHUSETTS EYE AND EAR INFIRMARY
PHS – HALLMARK HEALTH
UMASS – MARLBOROUGH HOSPITAL
ESSENT – NASHOBA VALLEY
PHS – EMESON HOSPITAL
CCHS – FALMOUTH HOSPITAL
CARITA – NORWOOD HOSPITAL
CARITA – CARNEY HOSPITAL
NORTH ADAMS REGIONAL HOSPITAL
JORDAN HOSPITAL
CCHS – CAPE COD HOSPITAL
WING MEMORIAL HOSPITAL
UMASS – CLINTON HOSPITAL
MILFORD REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER
TUFTS MEDICAL CENTER
MOUNT AUBURN HOSPITAL
WINCHESTER HOSPITAL
SOUTHCOAST – CHARLTON MEMORIAL
SOUTHCOAST – ST. LUKE’S
SOUTHCOAST – TOBEY HOSPITAL
CARITAS – SAINT ANNE’S HOSPITAL
NORTHEAST HEALTH SYSTEM
CARITAS – GOOD SAMARITAN
DANA-FARBER CANCER INSTITUTE
BAYSTATE – MARY LANE HOSPITAL
PARTNERS – NEWTON-WELLESLEY HOSPITAL
PARTNERS – NORTH SHORE MED CTR
PARTNERS – FAULKNER HOSPITAL
NEW ENGLAND BAPTIST HOSPITAL
LAHEY CLINIC
BAYSTATE – FRANKLIN MEDICAL CENTER
CARITAS – ST. ELIZABETH’S
SOUTH SHORE HOSPITAL
UMASS MEMORIAL MEDICAL CENTER
HARRINGTON MEMORIAL HOSPITAL
BI DEACONESS MEDICAL CENTER
BAYSTATE MEDICAL CENTER
BKHS – FAIRVIEW HOSPITAL
COOLEY DICKINSON HOSPITAL
BKHS – BERKSHIRE MEDICAL CENTER
CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL BOSTON
PARTNERS – BWH
PARTNERS – MGH
THE IMPACT OF RISING HEALTH
CARE COSTS IN MASSACHUSETTS
SOURCE: Office
MARCH 2012
WHERE HEALTH CARE
DOLLARS GO
DRIVERS OF
SPENDING GROWTH
RELATIVE PAYMENTS TO MASSACHUSETTS HOSPITALS
1.2
ACADEMIC MEDICAL CENTERS
1.0
0.8
0.6
0.4
0.2
0.0
VARIATIONS
IN SPENDING
PROVIDER AND SERVICE MIX: Some of the Largest and HighestPriced Hospitals in Massachusetts Are Academic Medical Centers
Overall, teaching status is
not associated with
higher prices. Some
academic medical centers
receive average or even
below-average payments
from health plans.
However, several of the
largest and highestpriced hospitals in
Massachusetts are
academic medical
centers.
of Attorney General Martha Coakley, “Investigation of Health Care Cost Trends and Drivers,” March 2010.
BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD OF MASSACHUSETTS FOUNDATION
THE IMPACT OF RISING HEALTH
CARE COSTS IN MASSACHUSETTS
WHERE HEALTH CARE
DOLLARS GO
DRIVERS OF
SPENDING GROWTH
VARIATIONS
IN SPENDING
PROVIDER AND SERVICE MIX: Massachusetts Leads All States in
Total Physicians and Specialists Per Capita
SPECIALISTS AS A SHARE OF ALL PHYSICIANS BY STATE, 2006
(PHYSICIANS PER 100,000)
Massachusetts has more
physicians per capita, and
also more specialists per
capita, than any other
state. Research finds that
regions with more total
physicians tend to spend
more on health care than
other regions, and that
states with a higher
proportion of specialists
also tend to spend more
on health care.
300
SPECIALISTS
NON-SPECIALISTS
250
200
150
100
0
NV
MS
AR
TX
KS
OK
UT
AL
ND
NE
AZ
SD
IA
ID
LA
KY
TN
IN
GA
MO
FL
NC
SC
OH
CA
WV
MI
NM
US
VA
MN
PA
WI
IL
MT
OR
CO
WY
WA
NH
DE
RI
HI
NJ
ME
CT
NY
AK
VT
MD
MA
50
State
Physician counts are estimated from rates and population and are not exact. DC is excluded.
per capita data from Dartmouth Atlas. Evidence for relationship between more physicians and higher spending from Fisher, E.S.,
et. al., “The Implications of Regional Variations in Medicare Spending. Part 1: The Content, Quality, and Accessibility of Care,” Annals of Internal
Medicine, Feb. 18, 2003.
NOTE:
SOURCES: Physicians
MARCH 2012
BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD OF MASSACHUSETTS FOUNDATION 33
THE IMPACT OF RISING HEALTH
CARE COSTS IN MASSACHUSETTS
WHERE HEALTH CARE
DOLLARS GO
DRIVERS OF
SPENDING GROWTH
VARIATIONS
IN SPENDING
PRICE: Utilization, Provider, and Service Mix Are Important, but
Increases in Price Are the Most Significant Cost Drivers
COST DRIVERS 2004-2008 FOR BCBSMA
PERCENT INCREASE IN SPENDING DUE TO CHANGES IN UTILIZATION, PROVIDER/SERVICE MIX, AND PRICE
100%
UTILIZATION
(number of visits)
90%
80%
70%
PROVIDER MIX AND SERVICE MIX
60%
50%
53.3%
58.0%
54.8%
53.8%
40%
30%
33.1%
PRICE
(amount providers get paid)
20%
In recent years, price
increases were
responsible for more
than half of the total rise
in spending at Blue Cross
Blue Shield of
Massachusetts. Prices
drove an even larger
share of cost increases
for other large
commercial health plans
in Massachusetts (not
shown).
10%
0%
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
NOTES:
1) Reflects fully-insured commercial trend.
2) “Utilization” reflects the number of services provided. “Provider Mix and Service Mix” reflect changes in providers and location of care (shift
to more or less expensive providers) and the intensity of services provided. “Price” reflects increases in provider rates.
SOURCE: Office of Attorney General Martha Coakley, March 2010, “Investigation of Health Care Cost Trends and Drivers.”
MARCH 2012
BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD OF MASSACHUSETTS FOUNDATION 34
THE IMPACT OF RISING HEALTH
CARE COSTS IN MASSACHUSETTS
WHERE HEALTH CARE
DOLLARS GO
DRIVERS OF
SPENDING GROWTH
VARIATIONS
IN SPENDING
PRICE: Higher Prices Explain Nearly All the Increases
in Private Spending on Inpatient Care and More than Half of
Increases on Outpatient Care
PERCENT CHANGE IN MASSACHUSETTS PRIVATELY INSURED SPENDING, 2007-2009
6.9%
5.4%
9.8%
3.9%
6.1%
1.0%
0.2%
Change in
Total
Inpatient
Care
Spending
Price
SOURCE: Massachusetts
MARCH 2012
# of
Admissions
Provider Mix
Service
Mix
-2.1%
0.2%
0.1%
Change in
Total
Outpatient
Care
Spending
Price
Provider Mix
# of
Admissions
Service
Mix
Price increases alone
would have driven up
hospital inpatient
spending by 6.9%, but
this rise was offset by
lower utilization rates.
Changes in the provider
mix (the use of higher
priced hospitals) caused
minimal increases in total
spending, as did changes
in the service mix (the
use of higher priced
services, like CT, in place
of lower priced ones, like
X-rays). Price increases
accounted for 55% of the
total change in spending
on outpatient hospital
care.
Division of Health Care Finance and Policy, “Massachusetts Health Care Cost Trends: Trends in Health Expenditures,” June 2011.
BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD OF MASSACHUSETTS FOUNDATION 35
THE IMPACT OF RISING HEALTH
CARE COSTS IN MASSACHUSETTS
WHERE HEALTH CARE
DOLLARS GO
DRIVERS OF
SPENDING GROWTH
VARIATIONS
IN SPENDING
PRICE: Price Increases Explain More than Three-Quarters of the
Total Rise in Spending on Physician Services
Price increases
accounted for 76% of the
overall rise in spending
on physician services.
PERCENT CHANGE IN MASSACHUSETTS PRIVATELY INSURED SPENDING, 2007-2009
4.7%
6.2%
0.9%
0.5%
Change in
Total Physician
and Professional
Services
Spending
SOURCE: Massachusetts
MARCH 2012
Price
# of
Admissions
Service
Mix
Division of Health Care Finance and Policy, “Massachusetts Health Care Cost Trends: Trends in Health Expenditures,” June 2011.
BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD OF MASSACHUSETTS FOUNDATION 36
THE IMPACT OF RISING HEALTH
CARE COSTS IN MASSACHUSETTS
WHERE HEALTH CARE
DOLLARS GO
DRIVERS OF
SPENDING GROWTH
VARIATIONS
IN SPENDING
SECTION 4:
VARIATIONS IN SPENDING WITHIN MASSACHUSETTS
 Massachusetts spends more on health care than other states. But within
Massachusetts, there are large variations in overall health spending. Per person
spending in some towns or regions is up to 15% higher than others. This variation is
likely driven by factors including utilization of services, provider mix and service
mix, as well as the prices paid to different providers for the same services.
 Research suggests that neither higher prices nor higher use of services is associated
with better quality or better health outcomes.
 Providers who receive the highest prices likely have higher market or negotiating
power with insurers.
 These large variations in spending, together with their lack of connection to the
actual value of care, suggest that there is considerable opportunity to reduce health
care costs without reducing quality or outcomes. This becomes even more clear
when looking at particularly costly — and wasted — health care dollars, such as
avoidable hospital admissions and Emergency Department visits.
MARCH 2012
BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD OF MASSACHUSETTS FOUNDATION 37
THE IMPACT OF RISING HEALTH
CARE COSTS IN MASSACHUSETTS
WHERE HEALTH CARE
DOLLARS GO
DRIVERS OF
SPENDING GROWTH
VARIATIONS
IN SPENDING
Spending Varies Significantly Across the State
Among Privately Insured Residents
TOTAL MEDICAL EXPENDITURES PER PERSON PER MONTH, 2009
Total per capita medical
spending for the privately
insured population
ranges from less than
$375 per month to more
than $426 per month.
People living in towns
where average incomes
are higher tend spend
more on health care.
Similarly, those living in
towns with older
populations tend to
spend more. Both higher
age and greater income
are associated with
greater utilization of
health care services.
No Data Available
$375 or Less
$376 to $402
$403 to $425
$426 or More
SOURCE: Massachusetts
MARCH 2012
Division of Health Care Finance and Policy, “Massachusetts Total Medical Expenses: 2009 Baseline Report,” June 2011.
BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD OF MASSACHUSETTS FOUNDATION 38
THE IMPACT OF RISING HEALTH
CARE COSTS IN MASSACHUSETTS
WHERE HEALTH CARE
DOLLARS GO
DRIVERS OF
SPENDING GROWTH
VARIATIONS
IN SPENDING
Spending for Those Covered by Medicare Also Varies Significantly
TOTAL MEDICARE REIMBURSEMENTS (PART A AND PART B) PER ENROLLEE BY HSA, 2007
No Data Available
$8,250 or Less
$8,251 to $9,350
$9,351 to $10,250
$10,251 or More
SOURCE: Dartmouth Atlas of
MARCH 2012
Health Care.
BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD OF MASSACHUSETTS FOUNDATION 39
THE IMPACT OF RISING HEALTH
CARE COSTS IN MASSACHUSETTS
WHERE HEALTH CARE
DOLLARS GO
DRIVERS OF
SPENDING GROWTH
VARIATIONS
IN SPENDING
Even Within the Extended Boston Health Care Market, Total
Spending for Medicare Beneficiaries Varies Significantly
TOTAL MEDICARE REIMBURSEMENTS (EXCLUDING PRESCRIPTION DRUGS) PER ENROLLEE BY HOSPITAL SERVICE AREA, 2007
No Data Available
$8,250 or Less
$8,251 to $9,350
$9,351 to $10,250
$10,251 or More
SOURCE: Dartmouth Atlas of
MARCH 2012
Health Care.
BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD OF MASSACHUSETTS FOUNDATION 40
THE IMPACT OF RISING HEALTH
CARE COSTS IN MASSACHUSETTS
WHERE HEALTH CARE
DOLLARS GO
DRIVERS OF
SPENDING GROWTH
VARIATIONS
IN SPENDING
The Prices Paid to Providers for Delivering
the Same Services Vary Enormously
HOSPITAL-SPECIFIC SEVERITY-ADJUSTED PRICE VARIATION FOR SELECTED PROCEDURES IN MASSACHUSETTS
$27,342
$25,284
$23,599
$20,141
$19,059
$20,010
HIP JOINT
REPLACEMENT
$14,309
$14,153
$11,889
KNEE
JOINT
REPLACEMENT
PNEUMONIA
TREATMENT
$9,225
$9,684
$8,466
ACUTE
MYOCARDIAL
INFARCTION
$6,141
APPENDECTOMY
$7,261
$6,185
$5,524
$4,647
INTENSITY
MODULATED
TREATMENT
DELIVERY
(RADIATION
ONCOLOGY)
$3,457
$3,430
VAGINAL
DELIVERY
$1,400
$339
$2,570
Prices can vary
enormously, even for
common services unlikely
to be affected by patient
sickness or complexity.
Prices at the highest-paid
providers can be more
than 10 times as much as
prices at the lowest-paid
providers.
COMPUTED
TOMOGRAPHY,
PELVIS
$1,204
$425
COLONOSCOPY
$1,797 MAMMOGRAM
$509
$695
$264
$316
$93
NOTE: Includes
only hospitals with at least 30 discharges.
Division of Health Care Finance and Policy, “Massachusetts Health Care Cost Trends: Price Variation in Health Care
Services,” May 2011.
SOURCE: Massachusetts
MARCH 2012
BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD OF MASSACHUSETTS FOUNDATION 41
THE IMPACT OF RISING HEALTH
CARE COSTS IN MASSACHUSETTS
WHERE HEALTH CARE
DOLLARS GO
DRIVERS OF
SPENDING GROWTH
VARIATIONS
IN SPENDING
Higher-Paid Providers Do Not
Score Better on Quality Measures
COMPOSITE QUALITY RATIO AND PRICE RELATIVITY FOR APPENDECTOMY BY MASSACHUSETTS HOSPITAL, 2009
PRICE RELATIVITY
QUALITY RELATIVITY
SOURCE: Massachusetts
STURDY MEMORIAL HOSP
BRIGHAM AND WOMEN'S HOSP
MASSACHUSETTS GEN HOSP
COOLEY DICKINSON HOSP
U MASS MEMORIAL MED CTR
SOUTH SHORE HOSP
SOUTHCOAST HLTH SYS ST. LUKE’S
NEWTON WELLESLEY HOSP
BETH ISRAEL DEACONESS MED CTR
0.0
JORDAN HOSP
0.0
CAPE COD HOSP
0.2
CARITAS GOOD SAMARITAN HOSP
0.2
FAULKNER HOSP
0.4
WINCHESTER HOSP
0.4
NORTHEAST HLTH SYS
0.6
CARITAS NORWOOD HOSP
0.6
MOUNT AUBURN HOSP
0.8
EMERSON HOSP
0.8
METROWEST MED CTR
1.0
SAINT VINCENT HOSP
1.0
BAYSTATE FRANKLIN MED CTR
1.2
LAWRENCE GEN HOSP
1.2
LOWELL GEN HOSP
1.4
MILFORD REGIONAL MED CTR
1.4
Division of Health Care Finance and Policy, “Massachusetts Health Care Cost Trends: Price Variation in Massachusetts Health
Care Services,” May 2011.
MARCH 2012
Researchers for the MA
Division of Health Care
Finance and Policy found no
connection between prices
and quality scores for any of
the services they investigated,
including appendectomy
(shown); laparoscopic
cholecystectomy; procedures
for obesity; uterine and
adnexa procedures for
nonmalignancy except
leiomyoma; knee
replacement; intervertebral
disc excision and
decompression; knee and
lower leg procedures; hip
replacement; treatment for
chronic obstructive
pulmonary disease,
pneumonia, heart attacks,
and congestive heart failure;
cesarean delivery; and vaginal
delivery.
BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD OF MASSACHUSETTS FOUNDATION 42
THE IMPACT OF RISING HEALTH
CARE COSTS IN MASSACHUSETTS
WHERE HEALTH CARE
DOLLARS GO
DRIVERS OF
SPENDING GROWTH
VARIATIONS
IN SPENDING
Price and Quality Remain Uncorrelated
When Using a Different Quality Metric
QUALITY AND PRICE RELATIVITY FOR TREATMENT OF PNEUMONIA BY MASSACHUSETTS HOSPITAL, 2009
PRICE RELATIVITY
QUALITY RELATIVITY
MASSACHUSETTS GEN HOSP
COOLEY DICKINSON HOSP
0.0
BRIGHAM AND WOMEN'S HOSP
0.0
NORTH SHORE MED CTR
0.2
NEWTON-WELLESLEY HOSP
0.2
LAHEY CLINIC HOSP
0.4
U MASS MEMORIAL MED CTR
0.4
BETH ISRAEL DEACONESS MED CTR
0.6
SOUTHCOAST HOSPITALS GRP
0.6
SOUTH SHORE HOSP
0.8
TUFTS MED CTR
0.8
JORDAN HOSP
1.0
CARITAS GOOD SAMARITAN HOSP
1.0
WINCHESTER HOSP
1.2
MOUNT AUBURN HOSP
1.2
CARITAS NORWOOD HOSP
1.4
BEVERLY HOSP
1.4
The survey “Hospital Care
Quality Information from
the Consumer
Perspective” reflects
patients’ reports of the
quality of care they
received. It too showed
no connection between
price and quality.
NOTE: Includes
only hospitals with at least 30 discharges and those available in the CMS quality score.
Division of Health Care Finance and Policy, “Massachusetts Health Care Cost Trends: Price Variation in Massachusetts
Health Care Services,” May 2011.
SOURCE: Massachusetts
MARCH 2012
BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD OF MASSACHUSETTS FOUNDATION 43
THE IMPACT OF RISING HEALTH
CARE COSTS IN MASSACHUSETTS
WHERE HEALTH CARE
DOLLARS GO
DRIVERS OF
SPENDING GROWTH
VARIATIONS
IN SPENDING
Prices Are Likely Driven By the Market Power or
Bargaining Power of Different Hospitals
SYSTEM-WIDE HOSPITAL REVENUE FROM BCBSMA (SELECTED TEACHING HOSPITALS)
(MILLIONS OF DOLLARS)
$1,600
$1,400
The Massachusetts
Attorney General found
that high prices were
related to how “big” a
hospital was, in terms of
both the total revenue
earned by its overarching
hospital system (y-axis)
and the number of
patients the hospital
system served (size of
dot).
MGH (1.35)
BWH (1.31)
$1,200
$1,000
$800
$600
$400
BIDMC UMMC
(1.21) (1.17)
$200
BMC
(1.06)
TMC
(1.41)
$0
0.6
0.7
0.8
0.9
1.0
1.1
1.2
1.3
1.4
1.5
BCBS’S RELATIVE PRICE PAID TO AMC
NOTE: The
systems’ BCBSMA HMO/POS membership in 2008 is indicated by dot size. The hospitals' case mix index is noted in parentheses; Beth
Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) and UMass Memorial Medical Center (UMMC) are similar in size in terms of BCBSMA membership and
also receive similar prices . As such, both hospital systems is are reflected in one split dot.
SOURCE: Office of Attorney General Martha Coakley, Examination of Health Care Cost Trends and Cost Drivers, March 2010.
MARCH 2012
BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD OF MASSACHUSETTS FOUNDATION 44
THE IMPACT OF RISING HEALTH
CARE COSTS IN MASSACHUSETTS
WHERE HEALTH CARE
DOLLARS GO
DRIVERS OF
SPENDING GROWTH
VARIATIONS
IN SPENDING
Higher-Priced Hospitals Are Gaining Market Share
at the Expense of Lower-Priced Hospitals
PERCENT CHANGE IN ADULT DISCHARGES 2005-2008
4%
Hospitals paid above-average prices GAINED 2.88%
in inpatient volume from 2005 to 2008.
3%
62%
of 2008
Discharges
2%
1%
0%
0.0
-1%
1.0
2.0
3.0
4.0
5.0
38%
of 2008
Discharges
Hospitals paid below-average prices LOST 1.15%
in inpatient volume from 2005 to 2008.
-2%
The Attorney General
found that hospitals
receiving above-average
payments were
responsible for nearly
two-thirds of 2008
inpatient discharges.
What’s more, admissions
at higher-paid hospitals
grew by nearly 3% from
2005 to 2008. Over the
same period, lower-paid
hospitals had fewer
discharges.
NOTES:
1. Data from Massachusetts Health Data Consortium; excludes normal newborn discharges (which double-count normal obstetrical deliveries
since the mother is already counted in the discharge data).
2. Statewide, total discharges for all hospitals increased by 1.3% from 2005 to 2008.
SOURCE: Office of Attorney General Martha Coakley, Examination of Health Care Cost Trends and Cost Drivers, March 2010.
MARCH 2012
BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD OF MASSACHUSETTS FOUNDATION 45
THE IMPACT OF RISING HEALTH
CARE COSTS IN MASSACHUSETTS
WHERE HEALTH CARE
DOLLARS GO
DRIVERS OF
SPENDING GROWTH
VARIATIONS
IN SPENDING
Higher Overall Utilization Is Not
Correlated with Better Quality
TOTAL MEDICARE REIMBURSEMENTS PER DECEDENT IN THE LAST TWO YEARS OF LIFE AND
CMS HOSPITAL COMPARE QUALITY SCORE BY MASSACHUSETTS HOSPITAL
REIMBURSEMENT RELATIVITY
QUALITY RELATIVITY
1.4
1.2
1.2
1.0
1.0
0.8
0.8
0.6
0.6
0.4
0.4
0.2
0.2
0.0
0.0
BAYSTATE FRANKLIN MED CTR
HEYWOOD HOSP
HOLYOKE MED CTR
COOLEY DICKINSON HOSP
MERCY MED CTR
ST. ANNE'S HOSP
HEALTH ALLIANCE HOSP'S
LOWELL GEN HOSP
BEVERLY HOSP
SAINTS MED CTR
QUINCY MED CTR
SOUTHCOAST HOSPS GROUP
MERRIMACK VALLEY HOSP
BAYSTATE MED CTR
MORTON HOSP & MED CTR
CAPE COD HOSP
MILTON HOSP
JORDAN HOSP
ST. VINCENT HOSP
WINCHESTER HOSP
LAHEY CLINIC HOSP
CARITAS NORWOOD HOSP
CAMBRIDGE HEALTH ALLIANCE
NORTH SHORE MED CTR
MILFORD REGIONAL MED CTR
SIGNATURE HEALTHCARE BROCKTON
SOUTH SHORE HOSP
ANNA JAQUES HOSP
HALLMARK HEALTH SYSTEM
FALMOUTH HOSP
NEWTON-WELLESLEY HOSP
LAWRENCE GEN HOSP
MOUNT AUBURN HOSP
METROWEST MED CTR
CARITAS GOOD SAMARITAN MED CTR
UMASS MEM-MARLBOROUGH HOSP
UMASS MEM MED CTR
MASSACHUSETTS GEN HOSP
BOSTON MED CTR
BETH ISRAEL DEACONESS MED CTR
CARITAS ST. ELIZABETH'S MED CTR
BRIGHAM AND WOMEN'S HOSP
TUFTS MED CTR
1.4
SOURCE: Dartmouth Atlas of
MARCH 2012
Medicare pays all
providers about the same
prices, so total spending
in this graph
approximates total
utilization and intensity
of care. Studying
spending in the last two
years of life also controls
for the severity of illness
and outcomes. Even
when prices and
outcomes are controlled
for, more care is not
associated with higher
quality.
Health Care.
BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD OF MASSACHUSETTS FOUNDATION 46
THE IMPACT OF RISING HEALTH
CARE COSTS IN MASSACHUSETTS
WHERE HEALTH CARE
DOLLARS GO
DRIVERS OF
SPENDING GROWTH
VARIATIONS
IN SPENDING
Even Within the Extended Boston Region
There Is No Association Between More Care and Better Care
TOTAL MEDICARE REIMBURSEMENTS PER DECEDENT IN THE LAST TWO YEARS OF LIFE AND
CMS HOSPITAL COMPARE QUALITY SCORE BY HOSPITAL, BOSTON HEALTH REFERRAL REGION
REIMBURSEMENT RELATIVITY
QUALITY RELATIVITY
SOURCE: Dartmouth Atlas of
MARCH 2012
TUFTS MED CTR
BRIGHAM AND WOMEN'S HOSP
CARITAS ST. ELIZABETH'S MED CTR
BOSTON MED CTR
BETH ISRAEL DEACONESS MED CTR
MASSACHUSETTS GENERAL HOSP
METROWEST MED CTR
CARITAS GOOD SAMARITAN MED CTR
MOUNT AUBURN HOSP
LAWRENCE GENERAL HOSP
FALMOUTH HOSP
NEWTON-WELLESLEY HOSP
ANNA JAQUES HOSP
HALLMARK HEALTH SYSTEM
SOUTH SHORE HOSP
SIGNATURE HEALTHCARE BROCKTON
NORTH SHORE MED CTR
MILFORD REGIONAL MED CTR
0.0
CAMBRIDGE HEALTH ALLIANCE
0.0
LAHEY CLINIC HOSP
0.2
CARITAS NORWOOD HOSP
0.2
WINCHESTER HOSP
0.4
MILTON HOSP
0.4
JORDAN HOSP
0.6
CAPE COD HOSP
0.6
MERRIMACK VALLEY HOSP
0.8
MORTON HOSP & MED CTR
0.8
QUINCY MED CTR
1.0
SOUTHCOAST HOSPS GROUP
1.0
BEVERLY HOSP
1.2
SAINTS MED CTR
1.2
ST. ANNE'S HOSP
1.4
LOWELL GENERAL HOSP
1.4
The amount of care
provided could reflect
regional factors, such as
the malpractice
environment. But even
within the extended
Boston hospital market,
the variation in total
spending and lack of
relationship to quality
remain.
Health Care.
BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD OF MASSACHUSETTS FOUNDATION 47
THE IMPACT OF RISING HEALTH
CARE COSTS IN MASSACHUSETTS
WHERE HEALTH CARE
DOLLARS GO
DRIVERS OF
SPENDING GROWTH
VARIATIONS
IN SPENDING
More Care May Actually Signal Poorer Quality,
As Nearly 10% of Hospital Spending Is for
Potentially Avoidable Services
TOTAL MA HOSPITAL SPENDING: $21.3 BILLION IN 2009
Potentially Avoidable
Hospital Admissions
$719 million
9%
Potentially
Avoidable
Hospital
Spending
Preventable Emergency
Department Visits
$571 million
Avoidable Hospital
Readmissions
$704 million
SOURCES: 2009 total
MA hospital spending from Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Health Expenditures by State of Residence, 2011; potentially avoidable hospital admissions from
Massachusetts Division of Health Care Policy and Finance, Health Care Cost Trends Public Hearings, “Challenges in Coordination of Health Care Services,” June 30, 2011.
MARCH 2012
BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD OF MASSACHUSETTS FOUNDATION 48
CONCLUSIONS
 Massachusetts spends more on health care than any other state.
 Higher costs were not caused or markedly accelerated by health reform, as
Massachusetts has been a high spending state for years.
 The underlying difference in spending between Massachusetts and the U.S. overall
is rooted in the state’s demographics, insurance coverage, and health care market
structure, which includes disproportionately many specialists and teaching hospitals
and some very large and powerful hospital systems.
 Though the amount of most services used increases every year, the majority of the
growth in health spending comes from increased prices.
 There is enormous variation in total health care spending across the state,
stemming from variations in both price and utilization.
 However, neither higher prices nor higher utilization of services is associated with
higher quality or better health outcomes, suggesting that there is a significant
amount of waste in the Massachusetts health care system. It also suggests that
costs can be lowered without decreasing overall quality or health outcomes.
MARCH 2012
BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD OF MASSACHUSETTS FOUNDATION 49
REFERENCES AND RESOURCES
 Massachusetts Division of Health Care Finance and Policy
http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/gov/departments/hcf/
 Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General http://www.mass.gov/ago/
 Massachusetts Cost Trends Reports and Hearings http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/researcher/physicalhealth/health-care-delivery/health-care-cost-trends/
 Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care http://www.dartmouthatlas.org/
 National Health Expenditure Accounts, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
http://www.cms.gov/NationalHealthExpendData/
MARCH 2012
BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD OF MASSACHUSETTS FOUNDATION 50

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